RUMOR: Members of Zion Williamson’s family want him to leave Pelicans
According to a report from The Athletic, they haven’t been pleased with how the Pelicans have handled Zion.
There was a growing unease between Van Gundy and his players, and Van Gundy and the New Orleans front office, which came to a head Wednesday with the veteran coach and organization agreeing to part ways with three years left on his contract. Most of the attention, however, from numerous sources across the league, has centered on Williamson’s family members’ thinly veiled unhappiness with the Pelicans, and whether those feelings seeped into the player’s own views.
The Pels made changes to their support staff to fit Williamson’s wishes over the offseason, and he returned in much better physical condition. But for most of this season, certain Williamson family members voiced displeasure with the organization. Among the targets of their criticism was Van Gundy, who they felt was too rigid and demanding as head coach, but also with the Pelicans, which they claim did not live up to what they felt should be the standard for a star like Williamson. Numerous opposing league executives had heard the complaints, and they were confirmed by Pelicans officials.
Interesting stuff. While Van Gundy was evidently the issue for Williamson and his family, the former first overall pick was also irked when the Pels traded J.J. Redick because he was a player that Zion grew with as a rookie and looked up to.
It’s no secret that New Orleans has been dreadful and it’s hard to understand when there’s certainly some talent on this roster aside from Williamson. Brandon Ingram is solid, while Lonzo Ball is also a gifted passer and respectable scorer. However, he could be gone this summer.
If Zion did end up leaving the Pelicans eventually, it would come by no surprise based on these reports. But with a new coach coming in, hopefully, the former Duke standout and the people in his corner can find happiness and success next season.